Desserts,  Gluten-Free

Gluten Free Runebergin Torttu

    The pastry is named after the famous Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. One of the legends says that the poet’s wife, Frederica Runeberg, to satisfy her husband’s sweet tooth, created a dessert using just ingredients that she found in the pantry.

Traditionally this small almondy cake has cylindrical shape and very dense texture, is flavored with rum or arrack and decorated with raspberry jam and ring of icing.

The actual date to eat Runebergin Torttu is on 5 of February – Runeberg Day – The anniversary of the poet’s Birthday. But some coffee places and shops sell the cakes already from the beginning of the Year till mid of February. Bakers create their own recipe for this national delicacy, which is enjoyed by many dessert lovers. 

My recipe for Runebergin Torttu is gluten free and lactose free. I reduced the amount of confectioner sugar by replacing it with dates. To follow the Finnish recipes I used gingerbread cookie crumbs:  Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies. But you can also use bread crumbs instead. Just be sure it’s gluten free. 

Try my simple recipe and enjoy delicious flavor and rich aroma from the North. 

Gluten Free Runebergin Torttu

Gluten Free Runebergin Torttu
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


Ingredients for 8 portions:

  • 120g almond flour
  • 60g rice flour
  • 50g tapioca starch
  • 50g gingerbread cookies
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • ⅓ - ½ tsp bitter almond oil
  • 40g ghee butter (room temperature)
  • 100g plant based yogurt (room temperature)
  • 2 flat tbsp coconut sugar
  • 120g dates (soaked)
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)

Berry jam:

  • 200g frozen berries (mix cranberries with strawberries)
  • 1 ½ tsp potato starch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tbsp honey (if it’s too sour for you add more honey)

Rum water:

  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

Sugar icing:

  • Icing sugar
  • water


  1. Place the gingerbread cookies in a plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 355ºF.
  3. Whisk together almond flour, rice flour, tapioca, baking powder, cardamom and gingerbread cookie crumbs.
  4. Drain soaked dates and blend with yogurt until smooth puree.
  5. In a mixing bowl, beat together ghee butter and coconut sugar. Add the eggs, one by one, continuously mixing until fully combined. Mix in the dates with yogurt and almond oil. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. 
  6. Divide the batter between muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full and smooth the surface with a spoon.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes goes out clean. 
  8. After a few minutes remove the cakes from the muffin cups and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  9. Make berry jam: In a small saucepan mix strawberries and cranberries with honey and let simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the fruits have thickened. Mix in potato starch and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Let it cool.
  10.  Prepare rum water: Boil water and sugar in a small saucepan. Add rum to simmer. Set the liquid aside to cool completely. 
  11. Use a sharp knife to trim the top of each cake. Then soak the cakes in rum water. Place each cake one by one top down into the liquid, then turn it on one side, and roll quickly 360 degrees. Put the cakes aside on a wire rack or a plate.
  12.  Prepare an icing paste: Make a very stiff sugar icing by mixing a dash or water with icing sugar. Transfer the paste into a piping bag. 
  13. Decorate the cakes with the jam and icing sugar.

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